This evening I popped over to the barns on the way home from work to see the progress with the bird prevention screens and to catch up with the news (a biomass boiler man has been on site today). It's been a beautiful day and there was an almost cloudless sky this evening and it was just to well, nice (for want of a better description) to go home.We were just chatting whilst pottering about when the swallows arrived. Most of the screens were ready but not attached to the openings so we ran around pushing the screens shut whilst the swallows whizzed around the courtyard. They are really alarmingly fast and bigger than you think they are, especially when close up. They got into one of the barns and flew around a bit before zipping out again, so we quickly tacked up some barrier screen fabric. I did feel a bit sad about stopping them from getting in, because it was absolutely fascinating last year to capture the baby birds on camera as the parents came in to feed them. I guess all of the swallows that came back were actually born in the barns so I felt especially uncomfortable about keeping them out. Hopefully it will only be for this year as one of our planning conditions is to provide alternative nesting accommodation for swallows. We celebrated (or commiserated) with a fish and chip supper sitting outside the barns watching and listening to the birds. I'm really looking forward to actually living up there, rather than just visiting and talking about it!